Another cabinet minister has criticised Air New Zealand's attitude to regional services - and this time it's the transport minister.
Source: 1 NEWS
Phil Twyford, fifth ranked in the cabinet, says Air NZ's cuts raise "real questions" about its commitment to serving regional New Zealand and he's going to talk to the airline's chief executive, Christopher Luxon, about that.
Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has called Air NZ "irresponsible" for cutting regional services and this week he ramped up his criticism to the point where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told him to pull his head in.
Source: 1 NEWS
Mr Twyford, speaking on Newshub's AM Show today, said the regions couldn't put up with "constant retrenchment and cutting back" of infrastructure and services.
"Cutting air services to Whakatane, Taupo, Whanganui, several others last year and now Kapiti raises a real question about their commitment to serving regional New Zealand," he said.
"As the national carrier we should expect them to service the regions as best they can... that's the conversation I'm going to have with Christopher Luxon."
Mr Twyford said the government couldn't instruct Air NZ, even though it was the majority shareholder.
"We don't have that right, but they have an obligation to listen to the views of the major shareholder and take those views into account," he said.
Mr Twyford said his meeting with Mr Luxon wasn't far away.
"I want to know what Air NZ's plans are for the rest of regional New Zealand," he said.